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Showing posts from March, 2015

Endures Long

“Love ENDURES long …”(1Corinthians 13:4 Amp, emphasis mine)

Noah Webster defines ‘endure’ as “to last; to remain; TO BEAR WITH PATIENCE; to suffer without resistance, or without yielding; to bear without sinking under pressure” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, emphasis mine).  It seems a contradictory picture to imagine ‘love’ as “bearing up without sinking under pressure”, or “suffering without resistance”, but I believe the perfect example of this type of love is found in the life of Messiah Yeshua, while He walked through the short time span of His 3 ½ year ministry.
“People despised and avoided Him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, He was despised; we did not value Him … Though mistreated, He was submissive — He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, He did not open His mouth … He was given a grave among the wicked; in His death H…

No Shame

“The Scripture says, NO MAN who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [EVER] be put to shame or be disappointed. (Romans 10:11 Amp, emphasis mine)

‘Shame’, like guilt, is seldom directly from YHWH.  Though it is often the RESULT of guilt and conviction, shame may also come from our ‘wrong-doings’ being exposed, accidently or not.  The adversary, haSatan, delights in using our shame as a ‘reproach’ against us (“That which is the cause of shame or disgrace”, Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of American English).  Shame degrades, ridicules, and brings disgrace to a person in the eyes of others.  However, once we have done ‘teshuvah’, repented and turned away from our past wrongful lifestyle, been washed by the blood of the sinless sacrificial Lamb, we are now redeemed from shame(Zephaniah3:19)!  The blood of our Messiah Yeshua bought our freedom from the ‘curse of shame’, and we no longer need to walk with our head and shoulders bowed down low ‘in shame’.�…

WHO is Your Source?

“And my God will LIBERALLY SUPPLY (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 Amp, emphasis mine)

Translators reached the word ‘supply’, in our opening verse, from the word “plēroō” (play-ro’-o), found in the Greek Translation of the New Testament (Strong’s #G4137).  Some years ago, when I embarked on an in-depth study of this word, I was amazed at what I had previously missed.  The expanded, wide angle lens reveals a picture of a loving Father POURING into us, into our reservoir, not just liberally, but continuously, overflowing the brim, so that there is not any room left for more.  It implies paying off a debt, and completing a person in such a way that there is NO lack in him/her.  Out of His abundance, out of His riches - for the Word of YAH tells us that the earth and all of its possessions belong to HIM (Psalm 24:1; 89:11; 104:24) - our ABBA Father sees to it that we lack for nothing, in Messiah Yeshua.
“ … No GOOD thing…

The Word of Elohim

“… so is MY WORD that goes out from my mouth — it will not return to me unfulfilled; but it WILL accomplish what I intend, and cause to succeed what I sent it to do."(Isaiah 55:11 CJB, emphasis mine)

The Word of our Elohim WILL go forth.  Whether it is the written Word that we read and study, the spoken Word from the mouth of the Preacher, Teacher or Prophet, be it the Word spoken to us privately in our prayer time, or even the Word spoken to us in the night seasons, quietly in our sleep, the Word of YHWH Elohim will go forth.
How are we responding to it?  Are we accepting this seed, the Word of LIFE, and allowing it to do its work IN us?  Or are we ignoring and rejecting the changes that our ABBA Father, the Master Potter (Isaiah 64:8), desires to work in our lives?  It is impossible for the Word to return void, empty, or unfulfilled; it will ALWAYS produce a result:  life or death.  How we receive the Word is OUR choice …
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [m…

It Is Time

“Besides all this, you KNOW at what point of history we stand; so it is HIGH TIME for you to rouse yourselves from sleep; for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust.”  (Romans 13:11 CJB, emphasis mine)

There appears to be a GREAT sense of expectancy in the spirit realm; many of those who persevere in prayer and intercession, diligently seeking the presence of our ABBA Father, are aware that NOW more than ever the opening verse holds true.  As world events unfold around us, it becomes more and more apparent that we stand at the very threshold of the end times; we perceive by our spirits that our Messiah King, Yeshua of Nazareth, is returning soon, and VERY soon.
How can we know this?  In two separate verses in the Word, YHWH speaks of “understanding of the times” (see 1Chronicles 12:32 and Esther 1:13).  From the Word of YHWH, we also learn of different manifestations of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Spirit of YHWH, (see 1Corinthians 12), all of which are necessary …

On Display

Love … does not display itself haughtily.(1Corinthians 13:4 Amp)
My husband, as a young boy, was fortunate enough to visit and tour the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C.; it was an experience that he has never forgotten.  Whether your interest is science, history, or nature, there are many, many exhibits and displays to capture and hold your attention.  Every display is brilliantly designed, executed, and maintained, created with one purpose in mind: to delight its audience.
Noah Webster, in his dictionary of 1828, defines ‘display’ as “literally, to unfold; hence, to open; to spread wide; to expand; to show; to exhibit to the eyes or to the mind; to make manifest” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).
‘Haughtily’, as found in our opening verse, is another word for ‘proudly’ or ‘arrogantly’– the very opposite of a humble and contrite spirit (Isaiah 57:15).  Therefore, what our Lord is telling us here is that HIS love (that is shed abroad in our hear…

Alms

“Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I GAIN NOTHING.”(1Corinthians 13:3 Amp, emphasis mine)

Messiah Yeshua gave us specific instructions concerning HOW we are to pursue our charitable deeds: they were to be done quietly, even secretly, without drawing undue attention to ourselves (see Matthew 6:1-4).  Anything else is labeled hypocritical and “play-acting”, not worthy of recognition, or much of any reward.  When we seek to gain recognition, then acceptance, and thus love, through our good works and actions, we have perverted what YHWH created us for.  We have doomed ourselves to eventual failure.
YHWH Elohim created us needing to be loved, needing to be accepted, and needing to be needed.  However, those needs are to be met FIRST in and through Him, THEN in each other, and not in any other way.  Too often we get things backwards, try to find love in…

Thoughts of Praise

“And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: FIX YOUR THOUGHTS…. Think about ALL you can PRAISE GOD FOR and BE GLAD ABOUT.”  (Philippians 4:8 TLB, emphasis mine)

As we come to the end of this series, it is evident that our ‘thought’ process is first and foremost a choice.  We CHOOSE to cultivate thoughts that are positive, not negative, beautiful, not ugly, thoughts that bless, not curse, and those that are worthy of ‘praise’, instead of criticism.  It is very easy to set ourselves up as not only the prosecuting attorney, but also judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to criticizing difficult circumstances and situations in our lives.  However, is this showing Messiah Yeshua to a lost and dying world?  We are called to bless those that persecute and ridicule us, and pray for those who use us spitefully (Matthew 5:44), that “we may be children of our Father in heaven.”
It is no accident that the Word of God calls this a “Sacrifice of Praise” (Jeremiah …

On Some Virtue

In conclusion … FOCUS your thoughts … on some VIRTUE …” (Philippians 4:8 CJB, emphasis mine)

Perhaps we can remember, as young children, hearing the phrase, “Patience is a virtue”?  In actual fact, patience IS a virtue:  the dictionary defines ‘virtue’ as “general moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness or morality; a SPECIFIC MORAL QUALITY regarded as GOOD or DESERVING PRAISE” (Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, 1991, emphasis mine).  We could further interpret this as saying the Fruit of the Spirit, as found and described in the Book of Galatians 5:22-23, are virtues worth cultivating.
“The path of the virtuous LEADS AWAY from evil; whoever follows that path is safe.” (Proverbs 16:17 NLT, emphasis mine)
Our world today has very little in it to show as an example of what is of ‘moral excellence’.  It is up to us, the disciples of Messiah Yeshua, to stand up and develop the attitude of NO COMPROMISE, beginning in our thought life, an…

Of Good Report

“Finally, brethren … whatever things are of GOOD REPORT …—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV, emphasis mine)

The Apostle Paul told us, point blank, to “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15); there is no room here for exceptions to the case.  I would suggest that all occasions of rejoicing are also “things of good report”, and are worth rehearsing and remembering often.  Such reports are not only a joy to OUR soul, but they also serve the purpose of building up our faith, for they remind us of ABBA Father’s faithfulness, not only to us, His children, but to His Word, which He watches over to validate and perform (Jeremiah 1:12).
Bad reports will come; however, it is how we choose to deal with them that is of concern to YHWH Elohim.  Every bad report serves as an opportunity for our miracle working God to show Himself strong on our behalf (2Chronicles 16:9), which is, in itself, another occasion we can choose to rejoice.  He is the “El-Shaddai”, ALL-Mighty God, and …

What is Lovely

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. FIX your thoughts on what is … LOVELY” (Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)

The expression on a person’s face tells a story of a thousand words.  It is through this story we can tell whether a person is sad, happy, hurt, angry, offended, joyful, expectant, and many times, what they are THINKING about.  We all have our favorite daydreams, places that we enjoy going to in our minds, places that are ‘lovely’, thoughts that bring us peace and happiness.  And as long as these thoughts line up with the Word of God, these are exactly the thoughts that we need to be thinking …
In the last few years of her life, my mother spent many hours looking through old photo albums, reminiscing of times that brought her great joy and happiness.  She would smile and laugh at pictures of us as children, of her grandchildren, of years that had come and gone. 
However, we, as children of “El Elyon”, the most HIGH GOD, have a hope of a future, and can turn o…

What is Pure

“FIX your thoughts on what is … PURE …” (Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)


For many years, my husband and I kept a stock tank for our horses to drink water out of; I have no idea how big it was, or how much water it held – it was round, fiberglass, and BIG.  During the winter, we would drop a ‘tank heater’ into it, to prevent the water from freezing – it is not unusual for winter temperatures to reach 20 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) in our area. 
When we first put the stock tank in, I had bought a dozen or so baby goldfish from our local Pet Store, and threw them in; past experience had shown me that the fish help keep the sides of the tank clean.  And as we were constantly adding fresh water to replace what the horses were drinking, we only needed to clean the tank about once a year – a suitable arrangement.
The fish grew.  And GREW.  When we replaced the stock tank with an automatic watering system for the horses, I did not want to get rid of the fish.  My wonderful husband moved…

What is RIGHT

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. FIX your thoughts on what is … RIGHT …” (Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)

The story of Queen Esther, and the deliverance of the Jewish people by her self-LESS bravery, has been the subject of stories, books, and several different movies.  Esther, and her relative Mordecai, are excellent examples of people doing what is ‘right’, or in some translations, ‘just’, simply because in the eyes of YHWH, it is the right, just, and correct thing to do.
Being right and just involves ALL our dealings with our fellow man, ALL our relationships with one another. Our ‘right relationships’ begin first at home, with our family members.  This then overflows to those who profess to be part of the body of Messiah Yeshua, concluding ultimately with unbelievers.  The “Good News of the Gospel” is a message of RECONCILIATION, first to our Creator Father, then to our fellow man.  Because we are called to be disciples of our Master Yeshua, we CANNOT show p…

Honorable

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. FIX your thoughts on what is … HONORABLE …” Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)

The Greek word that has been translated as our English word ‘honorable’ is the word ‘semnos’ (Strong’s #G4586), and is only used 4 times in the New Testament.  The other 3 times it is used concerns the qualifications of church leaders and elders, and is found in 1Timothy 3:8 & 11, and in Titus 2:2.  ‘Semnos’ describes an inner quality that is worthy of respect, something within a person that attracts others, and it is to be envied.  It is more than ‘just good behavior’ or ‘good manners’; it is someone of a humble, noble and dignified character, who is setting the kind of example others are willing to follow, i.e. an honorable person.
The Hebrew root word for ‘honor’ and ‘honorable’ is the word ‘kâbôd’ (Strong’s #H3519).  ‘Kâbôd’, most generally in scripture, refers to YHWH Elohim, or to the Ark of the Covenant.  It carries with it a sense of great…

On What is TRUE

“… FIX your thoughts on WHAT IS TRUE …” (Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)

Years ago, as a young child in grade school, I remember a teacher playing a game with us, the purpose being to teach us the use of synonyms and antonyms.  She would give us a word, and we would have to first, give a word in reply meaning the same thing, and then second, give another word OPPOSITE in meaning to the original word.  It was great fun, and a terrific learning experience that has stayed with me through the years.  For example, the opposite of light is darkness, good is bad, love is hate, heaven is hell.  And the opposite of what is ‘true’, is obviously a lie, or false.
Noah Webster defines TRUE as “conformable to fact; being in accordance with the actual state of things; stating the facts; genuine; pure; real; not counterfeit or false; faithful; loyal; free from falsehood; honest; not false or pretended, as Christ was the TRUE MESSIAH”(American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828,

HOW Are You Thinking?

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. FIX YOUR THOUGHTS…”  (Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)

As I spent some time meditating on these words, YHWH brought to mind a Great Horned Owl that our youngest son came across some years ago.  Justin had been hired (as a caretaker) by a friend of ours who was raising game birds (mostly pheasants), and this owl wanted “free lunch”.  The owl had managed to get inside of the large netted pen with the young birds, and our son had to capture it to remove it from the pen.  It sat there on the ground, with its big, yellow, cat-like eyes glaring at us – ‘fixed’, if you will – never blinking, never moving, always focused with concentrated intensity, directly on us. 
If only WE would be that fixed and concentrated with our thought life, for THIS is what the Lord directs us to do.
The Greek word that has been translated into our English word ‘thoughts’ in the opening verse from Philippians, is the word “logizomai” (log-id’-zom-ahee, Strong’…

Ears to Hear

“And He said to them, be careful WHAT you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the TRUTH YOU HEAR] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you WHO hear.” (Mark 4:24 Amp, emphasis mine)

Throughout the course of any given day, the sounds that we hear are many, and of a great variety.  Some of us have developed the ability to filter what is of importance, of what needs to be retained, and of what needs to be rejected and discarded.  Unfortunately, too often the wires get crossed, and many of those things that DO need to be kept and cultivated are being thrown away, while the ‘junk’ is being fertilized and fed.  ONLY with the help of the Spirit of YHWH can we be successful in hearing correctly, and then allow HIM to teach and train us from what we hear and retain.
“It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life …” (John 6:63 CJB)
In both the Heb…

My Meditation

“Let the words of MY mouth and the meditation of MY heart be acceptable in YOUR sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  (Psalm 19:14 NKJV, emphasis mine)

Noah Webster defines ‘meditation’ as “the turning or revolving of a subject in the mind; serious contemplation” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).  The question is, therefore, WHAT are we meditating on?  WHAT do we spend our time thinking on, rehearsing in our minds, daydreaming as the clouds drift across the sky?  Do we encourage ourselves, as David did, in the Lord (1Samuel 30:6)?  Do we remind ourselves of the faithfulness of YHWH Elohim to His Word, that He watches over His Word to perform it (Isaiah 14:24; Jeremiah 1:12; Ezekiel 12:25)?  WHAT are we depositing in our hearts, WHAT is our greatest treasure?
“The good person produces good things from the store of good in his heart, while the evil person produces evil things from the store of evil in his heart.  For his mouth speaks what OVERFLOWS…

Remembrance

“I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.  I CALL TO REMEMBRANCE my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search … I WILL REMEMBER the works of the Lord; Surely I WILL REMEMBER Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And TALK of Your deeds.”  (Psalm 77:5-6;11-12 NKJV, emphasis mine)

There are times when it IS a good thing to ‘remember’ all of the many things we have gone through to reach where we are today.  When we find ourselves in the middle of an especially dry season with our Elohim, we need to encourage ourselves, as David did (see 1Samuel 30:6), and rehearse the times in the past when Adonai YHWH was faithful to us.  We must remember how “Elohim Avinu”, God our Father, stood by us in the times of trouble, how He delivered us from the snare of the fowler (Psalm 91:3), how He healed us, comforted us, and walked with us THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23).  We need to speak to each othe…

Beginnings

In the BEGINNING [BEFORE ALL TIME] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God.” (John 1:1-2 Amp, emphasis mine)
“In the BEGINNING Elohim …” (Genesis 1:1 ISR, emphasis mine)

Everything starts with YHWH Elohim, the Creator of the universe.  He is the starting point, the beginning of everything, for everything originated from and with Him.  People ask:  where did Elohim come from?  Elohim IS; there has never been a time when Elohim did not exist.  His existence is not dependant on anyone or anything, and He Himself has never had a beginning, nor will He ever have an end.  He IS the beginning, and He is the ending (see Psalm 90:2; John 5:26; Revelation 22:13; Isaiah 57:15; Deuteronomy 33:27).
“At the BEGINNING You existed and laid the foundations of the earth; the heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but YOU SHALL REMAIN AND ENDURE; yes, all of them shall wear out and become old like a garment. Like c…

Servant's Heart

“… love NEVER is envious nor boils over with jealousy …” (1Corinthians 13:4 Amp, emphasis mine)


Many are the stories recorded for us in God’s Word, concerning the damage and destruction that envy and jealousy will do.  Beginning with Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, we find the first recorded act of murder in the Bible, as well as the sin of brother against brother.  Moving on to the story of Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt, again because of jealousy within the family circle, found in Genesis 37 (see also Acts 7:9).  Consider Absalom, King David’s son, jealous of his father’s power and authority, and in open rebellion against his father (2Samuel 15-18).  The disciples of Messiah Yeshua were not exempt from this wickedness: James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, wanted the ‘honor’ of being seated on either side of Messiah in glory (see Mark 10:35-41).  When the Apostle Paul, together with Barnabas, delivered the ‘Good News’ of salvation (through Messiah Yeshua) to the city of Antio…